As new social media platforms emerge, Facebook has either acquired them (Instagram and WhatsApp), or replicated their best features. SnapChat’s Stories were introduced on both Facebook and Instagram, and the experience of TikTok is found on Instagram’s Reels.
Clubhouse is gaining momentum with its audio-centric approach, and this week, Facebook announced new tools for audio content creators are on the way. Take a look at these products descriptions courtesy of Facebook:
These audio creation tools will enable you to create Soundbites — short-form, creative audio clips for capturing anecdotes, jokes, moments of inspiration, poems, and many other things we haven’t yet imagined. We’ll start testing Soundbites over the next few months with a small number of creators and refine the product with their input before making it available to everyone. To start, we’re collaborating with creators to experiment with different concepts. Imagine, comedian Drew Lynch, sharing his short rants and food reviews in ASMR; Lolo Spencer, an accessibility advocate, reciting daily affirmations and her favorite inspirational quotes; Tobe Nwigwe, a visionary and entrepreneur, sharing his “convos with Tobe” about fatherhood and being a first-generation Nigerian American; Molly Burke, a motivational speaker who is blind, recording empowering stories about overcoming adversity; and Josh Sundquist, an author and comedian, using voice effects to augment his impersonations and storytelling. The possibilities are endless and we can’t wait to hear their Soundbites.
While we’re big believers in the power of short-form audio, we also know that some stories and conversations deserve more airtime. More than 170 million people are already connected to hundreds of thousands of podcast pages on Facebook, and more than 35 million people are members of fan groups around podcasts — but until now, you had to leave the Facebook app to listen to these episodes. Within the next few months, you’ll be able to listen to podcasts directly on the Facebook app — both while using the app or when the app is backgrounded. And because it’s still hard to discover podcasts you like, we will help you easily find new podcasts and episodes based on your interests, comment on them and recommend them to your friends. And podcast creators will be able to reach and connect with new listeners — all directly within the Facebook app.
Live Audio Rooms
We’re also going to start testing Live Audio Rooms and we expect it to be available to everyone on the Facebook app by the summer. We believe that audio is a perfect way for communities to engage around topics they care about. We’ll test Live Audio Rooms in Groups, making it available to the 1.8 billion people using Groups every month and the tens of millions of active communities on Facebook. Whether it’s Filipino Cooking Group, run by a former cooking reality TV show contestant; the World Wanderlust Bucket List group, filled with travelers looking for the road less traveled; or OctoNation® – The Largest Octopus Fan Club of 47,000 cephalopod enthusiasts, we hope that unlocking audio will be as inspiring and fun as Groups already are. As part of this initial rollout — and because we know communities aren’t built just in Groups — we’ll also bring Live Audio Rooms to public figures so they can host conversations with other public figures, experts and fans. We’re making live audio both accessible and discoverable so that public figures like American football quarterback Russell Wilson, Grammy-nominated electronic music artist TOKiMONSTA, artist and director Elle Moxley, and five-time Olympic medalist and entrepreneur Nastia Liukin can share ideas with new audiences and create a forum for discussion, without the added pressure of being on camera. In addition to bringing this to Facebook, we also plan to release Live Audio Rooms on Messenger this summer so you can easily hang out with your friends, too.
Mobile Sound Studio
The first thing we’re building is a set of new audio creation tools. Just like we did for photos and videos, we want everyone to have tools that are powerful enough for the pros, but intuitive and fun — like having a sound studio in your pocket. We’ve been investing in audio technologies — such as speech-to-text and voice morphing — for a long time and will make them available in an audio creation tool directly inside the Facebook app. Through our advances in AI, we can make audio quality magically great — even if you record on a busy street corner. You will be able to use music from Facebook’s Sound Collection in the background of your story to set the tone. And with the ability to mix audio tracks, a growing collection of sound effects, voice effects and filters, it should be a lot of fun too.
When Live Audio Rooms launch, fans will be able to support their favorite creators and public figures through Stars, or donate to causes they care about. Soon after launch, we’ll also offer other monetization models, like the ability to charge for access to a Live Audio Room through a single purchase or a subscription. Finally, to kickstart Soundbites, we’re introducing an Audio Creator Fund to support emerging audio creators and get early feedback on the new product experience.
Get more details about the audio features coming to Facebook here.